In Theatres: 
Oct 28, 2016
Running Time: 
121 minutes

I rather enjoyed Ron Howard’s adaptation of The Da Vinci Code and while Angels & Demons was more of a letdown, it didn’t completely turn me off the series as a whole. That would be Inferno’s job as it takes everything the series has built up thus far and burns it to the ground. It’s a film that not even the infallible Tom Hanks can save, unfortunately.


Inferno jumps straight into the action as Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) awakens in a hospital room to find that he has a head wound and no memories of the last few days. To make matters worse, the person who presumably gave him the head would is still on his tail, but with the help of Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) he is able to escape and make to her apartment so he can figure out what exactly is going on. As it turns out, Langdon is in possession of Faraday Pointer, the first in a series of clues, that will lead him to a virus called Inferno that has the potential to wipe out half of the world’s citizens in order to slow overpopulation. As his memory starts to return, Langdon embarks on a clue-filled quest to find the virus and destroy it before it is released upon the world.


I was just as confused as Robert Langdon at the beginning of the film as there is absolutely no lead up to what is going on besides a flashing montage of blurry images. Unfortunately things don’t become clearer as what transpires is a global treasure hunt, much like the previous films, only this time the villains they’re trying to stay one step ahead of are the most lackluster of the franchise so far. Ben Foster plays Bertrand Zobrist, the geneticist behind developing Inferno, but he ends up dead at the beginning of the film so any appearances of him are through flashbacks or TED Talks-like videos where he describes the dangers of overpopulation. The main threats are his followers who are after Langdon but even they aren’t that interesting. Crooked cops, secret assassins, brainwashed followers; it’s all stuff we’ve seen done better before.


What made the other films interesting was the vast conspiracy theories they revolved around. Yes, I understand that Mary Magdalene was not the wife of Jesus and they didn’t have a son together, but at least it was fun. With Inferno there’s none of that. And I love Dante and his Divine Comedy, too. The film instead relies upon confusing the audience with as many twists and turns as possible. It plays it safe by sticking to the same schtick that may have worked before but just doesn’t cut it for the third time.


I love Tom Hanks’ works but there is nothing that can save him from the inferno that is this film. It sprints out of the gate too fast and ends up stumbling across the finish line. I can only hope that Robert Langdon takes some time off to cool down because we don’t need another sequel anytime soon.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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